Describing health care use in a cohort of children 0-5 years in South East Queensland

Which socio-economic factors are associated with Emergency Department presentations, hospital admissions and medication use?

Grant ID: EMSS-12-193-KEIJZERS

Project Summary

Emergency Department (ED) presentations are disproportionately greater in young children than all other age-groups. Young children are a vulnerable population and are at risk for injury and serious medical illness. In Australia, 13 per cent of all ED presentations were from children less than 5 years of age. Factors that lead to greater ED presentation rates in young children are incompletely understood and need further investigation.

This project has access to unique data from another existing study, the Environments for Healthy Living study (EFHL), run by the School of Medicine, Griffith University. EFHL recruited pregnant mothers in the Logan, Tweed and Gold Coast region and collected data since 2006 on more than 3000 children from birth with follow-up at 1, 3 and 5 years. Based on this fundamental initial work, the researchers will develop further research that aims to improve health care access and health care quality for this vulnerable population. This will better inform health care policy and education and reconfiguration of ED models of care that will enable more appropriate and efficient use of the ED to better meet the needs of the populations they serve.

This study aims to describe health care use by children aged 0-5 years living in the Logan, Gold Coast and Tweed regions. It will link the EFHL data with routinely collected data by Queensland and NSW Health (ED, inpatient and cost data) and Medicare Australia data (includes data on GP visits, medications prescribed and vaccination status). The project will focus on describing the health care use of these young children. This will include ED visits, hospital admissions, GP visits and medication use. It will aim to describe any associations between social, demographic, geographic and economic patient characteristics and common ED presentations and diagnoses (such as fever, asthma and injuries).


Keijzers, G., Sweeny, A., Crilly, J., Good, N., Cameron, C.M., Mihala, G., Scott, R. and Scuffham, P.A., 2018. Parental-reported allergic disorders and emergency department presentations for allergy in the first five years of life; a longitudinal birth cohort. BMC pediatrics, 18(1), pp.1-12.

Crilly, J., Cameron, C.M., Scuffham, P.A., Good, N., Scott, R., Mihala, G., Sweeny, A. and Keijzers, G., 2017. Emergency department presentations in infants: Predictors from an Australian birth cohort. Journal of paediatrics and child health, 53(10), pp.981-987.


Amount Awarded


Grant Scheme


Principal Investigator:
A/Prof Gerben Keijzers

Co Investigators:
Dr Cate Cameron
Prof Julia Crilly
Prof Paul Scuffham
Ms Rani Scott

Associate Investigators:
Dr Rob Davies
A/Prof Angus Ng
A/Prof Michael Yelland
Dr Syed Fasihullah
Dr Stuart Young


Collaborating Institutions

CONTACT US +61 7 3720 5700 Suite 1B, Terraces, 19 Lang Parade, Milton Qld 4064